Like all women, I’ve worn many hats in my lifetime: daughter, wife, mother, empty-nester, now Mimi/Nanny. I guess I’ve had a lot of “bests” in my life, too: walking down the aisle, holding my newborns for the first time, having total freedom for the first time in my life. . .and then, there are days like yesterday.
I picked up the girls from school yesterday. The Small Person (age almost 9) and the Wee Bear Cub (age almost 6) are always full of news the second they get into the car--long before they shuck their backpacks and buckle up! Yesterday the SP informed me she was reading a book from her classroom library that had the ‘B’ and the ‘D’ words in it.
Needless to say, the situation called for further investigation, but it was true. The book (copyright 1974) did indeed use those forbidden words as well as detail how other children made fun of another little girl who was overweight.
We discussed things, of course, and then she said, “I almost told my teacher my Mimi writes books and doesn’t use those words.” In retrospect, it’s probably better she didn’t, but my heart (like the Grinch) grew four sizes! Now, yes, I write adult books, and I’ve used the ‘D’ word a few times in context to define a particular character and/or his sudden reaction to a catastrophic event. Never, of course, have I used the word to profane God or simply as a casual byword. My books are for adults who can discern how/why a particular word is used.
But my point is this: my boys couldn’t learn from what I said, only what I did, and neither can these precious granddaughters. The time I returned the package of Oreos for which I hadn’t been charged made the point to my boys that one doesn’t take what one hasn’t paid for. More recently, I stopped reading a book (for a book club) which the SP could tell from the cover “wasn’t nice” helped her understand adults have to make good choices, too.
When I write, I always have in the back of my mind that my grandchildren may someday read those words. Staying the course--well, that’s the best part of what I do as a writer.
Thank you, Lord, for reminding me of that every time I sit down at the computer.
|Mimi provides GOOD books!|